As requested by the board of directors (see board minutes "new business", page ten), following are the lyrics to the official NWTA music. The two national anthems, "God Save..." and "Chester", are sung at the close of each event day, and "A Parting Glass" is sung Sunday mornings as part of the "last post":
God Save the King
God save great George our King,
Long Live our noble King
God Save the King.
Send him victorious,
Happy and Glorious,
Long to Reign over us,
God save the King!
Let tyrants shake their iron rod,
And slavery clank her galling chains,
We fear them not, we trust in God.
New England's* God forever reigns!
*You may insert the state of your choice
in place of "New England".
O, all the comrades e'er I had,
They're sorry for my going away,
And all the sweethearts e're I had
They'd wish me one more day to stay.
But since it falls, unto my lot,
That I should go and you should not,
I gently rise and softly call
Good night, and joy be with you all.
To put my two-pence in on this subject, the Crown forces tend to really belt out "God Save ...", which is not surprising, as the melody is familiar to almost everyone and the key and vocal range are not too extreme.
On the other hand, "Chester" and "Parting Glass" have more difficult melodies that require a wider vocal range so folks don't sing it as loud, and as a result the words usually can't be heard by the public. Many of us are not singers, so these last two tunes naturally require a little more practice to master.
As the re-enacting season approaches, I suggest you practice these tunes whenever and wherever you can; in the shower, at breakfast, in the car on the way to work, perhaps even when riding the elevator instead of silently watching the little numbers light up (though this may cause some confusion among your co-workers and fellow passengers)!
Part of the vocal volume problem in singing these songs may also rest in part with the accompaniment the fifes and drums. It can sometimes be difficult to hear the music and pick out the melody from the far end of the evening parade line especially at some of the larger events. The NWTA music has made great strides over the past year or so, and I hope to address and improve on this problem in the upcoming season.
Jabez Fitch was First Lieutenant of Captain Joseph Jewett's Company of the 8th Connecticut Regiment under Colonel Jedediah Huntington. He was on the American right at Long Island and was one of those captured surrendering himself to the British 57th Regiment. Fitch kept a diary during his captivity on Long Island, and in January of 1777 he recorded the following "Dutch" proverb1 as told to him by one of his acquaintances:
"A man discovered the following curious inscription on a very large rock: 'O wonder of wonder; What can here lay under.' And when the curious discoverer, had by great expense & labour, found means to overset the rock, to his yet greater Surprise, he found
the following inscription on the bottom: 'O me, said he, how glad I be, to lay on t'other side."
1) The New York Diary of Lieutenant Jabez Fitch, New York Times and Arno Press, 1971.
Fitch's "Dutch" could, in fact be a reference to the German "Deutsch", which was a common mistake aluded to in many early diaries and documents.